The housing market extended its recent losing streak, with the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reporting existing home sales fell 3.4 percent in September from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.15 million. Compared to September 2017, existing home sales declined 4.1 percent.
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The frothy economy has spilled over to the housing market, with continued job and wage growth supporting demand at a time when supply has been constrained.
Meanwhile, rising mortgage rates are making homeownership more costly. Rates are nearing 5 percent, a rate that analysts say could deter home purchases.
The median sale price for an existing home in September was $258,100 a 4.2 percent increase from September 2017.
Purchases of existing homes account for most of U.S. home-buying activity. The latest reading on new-home sales, for September, will be released by the Commerce Department on Wednesday.
Homebuilders have been cautious about the real estate market due to rising costs for raw materials such as lumber and a labor shortage.